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Multiculturalism! Right across the street from the Istiqlal Mosque is the Roman Catholic Jakarta Cathedral.
For U.S. passport holders, the Indonesian government requires a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Indonesia to enter the country. If not, travelers will be directed to a nearby country to obtain a new U.S. passport.
Under the Visa Exemption rule, American citizens aren’t required to have a visa to enter Indonesia if they plan to stay 30 days or less for tourism purposes. Entry under the visa exemption is for free, but there are no opportunities for extension. Travelers may apply for a 30-day visa on arrival. The Visa-on-Arrival plan can be extended for a maximum of 30 days by applying at the Indonesian immigration office.
Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno-Hatta) is the main airport for the greater Jakarta area. Other airports around this area include: Bandung airport (119km)
Kertajati International airport (175km)
Bandar Lampung airport (187km)
Tasikmalaya airport (200km)
Cirebon airport (205km)
Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport, is located in southern Bali, about 13 km south of Denpasar.
The most common way to get to and from the Denpasar airport is by taxi. Taxi counters are located on the airport’s arrival level, immediately after customs, and just outside the terminal. Once you find the counter, indicate where you’re planning to go and a driver will assist. Before getting in the taxi, make sure you agree to a fare. Many travelers also opt to secure transfer services, which offer a slew of transportation options. Some even take buses, with many costing about 60,000 IDR (USD $4.25) to get to places like Ubud, Bali.
Jakarta is an overall safe city with a rating of 54.1%. This means it is ranked 103rd on the ranking of the safest and most dangerous cities. Overall it is quite safe for women with a low traveler risk.
Here are a few other safety tips:
- Never leave your drink at night clubs.
- Stay vigilant when walking the streets at night.
- Leave your valuables in a room safe in your hotel.
- Carry a form of identification with you at all times.
The best time to visit Jakarta is during the dry season between June and September, with temperatures between 75-89 F. This offers more sunlight time as well (11-12 hours!). For a less crowded Jakarta, visit during the month of Ramadan, which also usually coincides with these months. It is best to avoid the wet season from September through January.
Jakarta runs on Central Indonesian Time (WITA). It’s 11 hours ahead of New York and six hours ahead of London. Daylight Savings Time (DST) is not considered.
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Here are some common phrases to use during your travels:
Selamat Pagi: Good morning.
Selamat Siang: Good afternoon.
Selamat sore: Good evening.
Selamat malam: Good night.
Apa kabar?: How are you? – Kabar baik: I’m good.
Terima kasih: Thank you.
Sama Sama: You are welcome.
Yes/No: Ia/ Tidak.
Indonesian locals are considerably firm on their conservative ways. So, when traveling through the city’s restaurants, temples and tourist attractions, keep a few important etiquette tips in mind.
When venturing throughout Indonesia’s borders, be sure to dress modestly and greet people with a handshake. And when you address people you first meet, acknowledge them by their formal title before they say their real names. As far as things not to do, avoid showing excessive displays of affection and displeasure in public.
The official currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), also shown as Rp.
Tipping! If you think your waiter did an exceptional job at serving, giving anywhere between a 5-10% tip is standard in Jakarta.
Electrical supply is 230 volts, 50 hertz and C/F power sockets. Indonesia uses the standard European two-pin (round-pronged) plugs. Your plugs look like this:
The tap water in Jakarta is something tourists should avoid. Stick to canned drinks or bottled water to stay away from potential cases of “Bali belly,” a sickness caused by tainted water quality. Many locals boil water before using/drinking it.
Your local cafes and hotels will usually have free and fast internet Wifi. Here are a list of cafes and restaurants that offer free Wifi.
Travelers can purchase SIM cards at airports in Jakarta where cell phone companies have little booths to help you. You will need to be careful that the advertised data is not just “Local Data,” which is only good in the area where it’s sold. If you plan to travel around, you’ll want “Flash.”
In Indonesia, LGBTQ people face social and legal challenges many non-LGBTQ residents don’t. People in Jakarta tend to be more discrete if they associate themselves with the LGBTQ community. Movements have been started to bring LGBTQ pride to the country, and locals keep rallying and marching in order to progress the country to be more accepting.
Jakarta is pumping out about 2,400 tons of plastic trash daily (2018) according to recent statistics. 7,000 tons of trash are produced overall each day with Jakarta being the second-largest producer of plastic waste in Indonesia.
Some efforts are being made: If you travel to Thousand Islands (close to Jakarta) there are dozens of tourist islands following eco-friendly principles with conservatism at the forefront. Some of the islands are home to historical landmarks, and many eco-initiatives for sea turtles are in place for tourists to support wildlife.